Should we celebrate dependency?

By Tom Quiner


A quarter of a million folks have watched a rap video called “My EBT” by an artist who labels himself as MR EBT. I’ve posted the video above.

If you can get through the full three minutes and fifty-one seconds of this song, you have more fortitude than I. The song is laced with a few swear words, so fifteen to twenty seconds give you enough flavor of MR EBT’s talents.

Here is a sampling of the lyrics:

“Sandwiches, chips, Snickers, Twix…I’m eating good…Potato chips…A big box of Oreos…Cereal, Kix…My EBT, My EBT…Walking down the Ave, there’s food I got a hunger for…I just want some Jam…Walking down the aisle, cuz I just want some ham…Wham!,” Mr EBT raps. “It’s the EBT, it’s not Food Stamps…Breakfast time the cheese is melted…if I don’t have my card I use someone else’s…”

For the uninitiated, an EBT is an electronic benefit transfer. Translation: it’s a state-provided credit card of sorts for folks on welfare. It replaces food stamps.

The rapper above celebrates his dependency on the tax payers. He exhibits no shame for living on the dole. Even more, he suggests that he is comfortable borrowing (or stealing) someone else’s EBT card if he doesn’t have his (“if I don’t have my card I use someone else’s…” ).

He laments his inability to buy weed with his EBT.

The Obama administration pays homage to EBTs. Former Iowa Governor and current Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack sings the praises of EBTs:

“Every dollar of SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits generates $1.84 in the economy in terms of economic activity. If people are able to buy a little more in the grocery store, someone has to stock it, package it, shelve it, process it, ship it. All of those are jobs. It’s the most direct stimulus you can get in the economy during these tough times.”

Conservatives and liberals agree on the idea of a government-provided safety net. The tension between the two ideologies has always been where to draw the line.

The folks picking up the bill, the taxpayers, feel pretty good about providing this safety net when they see hard-up folks working their tails off to find a job and exhibiting good values like thrift and integrity.

It’s a bitter pill to follow, though, when the folks carrying an EBT card exhibit a sense of entitlement and celebrate their dependency.

That’s called leeching off of society.

I wonder what the Secretary of Agriculture and our president think about the MR EBT’s of the world?



  1. Monte B. Gray on September 22, 2011 at 6:24 am

    Maybe, due to the flow of jobs from our country to other 3rd world nations we have created an under class of people that have no hope due to the lack of middle class jobs. What would you do if you were one of those millions of Americans who could not obtain a college education, or were not capable of obtaining one? If the only jobs available are fast food joints, or jobs that pay minimal wage? Would that give you hope for a future that allows you to support a family? If the manufactoring jobs that were there for your parents disappeared would it not be hard to remain honest?

  2. Leon Chase on September 26, 2011 at 10:00 am

    I’m not going to argue with the idea that there are problems with the EBT program, or that short-sighted idiots of this caliber might actually exist.

    In fact, neither would Stanley LaFleur, the man who created “My EBT”. Because, lest we forget, Mr. EBT is a character, and the video is obviously (to most of us, anyway) a comedic parody, poking fun at both the perceived abuses of the EBT program within his community and the pseudo-rich posturing of wanna-be rap stars. Regardless of whether you personally find him funny, or can even stand the music and language involved, you need to understand that this is a PERFORMER in a staged comedy scenario. Your blog would have us believe that this video is a documentary, and that Mr. EBT is a real person, genuinely lamenting his inability to buy malt liquor and weed with his card.

    I find it curious that, when the performer is a black rapper, people in the mainstream seem to have a much harder time separating the performer from the song. As if, because Mr. LaFleur is (we assume) from a certain background and income level, he is somehow incapable of the thought and creativity involved in creating a separate character and taking on his voice. Was there a public outcry when Johnny Cash sang about stealing car parts from his job, or when he stated that he “shot a man in Reno just to watch him die”? Granted, in terms of talent, Stanley LaFleur is no Johnny Cash. But neither, to use a more modern example, is Larry the Cable Guy. I find it equally tasteless when “Larry” sings about “retards” and threatens to beat starving African children, but like most people I also don’t believe that those are the real beliefs and practices of Daniel Whitney (the creator of “Larry”), any more than I believe that Larry is a broke white moron who actually works for the cable company.

    If this song had been set in a trailer park and sung by Larry the Cable guy, would the public response be as dead-serious as all this? I wonder.